House of Straw by Deborah Harvey

I am not a silent poet

He’d call from ten minutes away

to say he was ten minutes away

the ring of the phone

a starting gun

for tidying school bags, hoovering floors,

aligning pairs of shoes at right-angles to the skirting

As he’d turn his car into the drive

take off his glasses, note his mileage

peer through the porthole

in the door

she’d check her make-up

in the mirror,

fear as bland and familiar

as chips and burnt fish fingers

From Deborah’s new book, breadcrumbs


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